The Greens sent the election policy costings umpire, the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO), 25 policies to be costed on the last day of the election campaign, leaving it unable to provide a view of 15 policies.
While Greens won’t form government, the are expected to wield considerable power in the Senate, with up to nine senators, and may win up to three seats in the lower house, with sitting Melbourne MP Adam Bandt expected to be returned.
But despite prime minister Malcolm Turnbull announcing the longest election in 50 years, the Greens seemed unable to get their policy plans together in a timely fashion, waiting until the last week of the eight week campaign to submit 100 policies for costings. A quarter of them were delivered yesterday afternoon.
That tardiness led the PBO to issue a statement last night explaining why it was unable to cost them all properly, which had hoped to provide policy costings for all the major parties by Thursday.
“The PBO was given insufficient time to respond to 15 caretaker period policy costing requests which were submitted by the Australian Greens on the afternoon of Friday, 1 July 2016, the day before polling day,” Parliamentary Budget Officer, Phil Bowen said.
He pointed out that the PBO warned all parties back on April 21 that “At the latest, parliamentary parties and independent parliamentarians should provide their costing requests to the PBO by close of business on the Thursday of the week prior to polling day (six business days before polling day).”
The PBO completed 85 of the Australian Greens’ caretaker period policy costing requests by 5:30pm yesterday, having been sent 100 requests for caretaker period policy costings progressively over the last seven business days before polling day.
“Consistent with Section 64L (3) of the Parliamentary Service Act 1999, the 15 caretaker period policy costing requests from the Australian Greens which the PBO was given insufficient time to respond to before polling day are taken to have been withdrawn” the PBO said in its statement.
Details of the costing requests are on the PBO’s website.
On its website, the Greens claim they have a “fully costed election platform”.
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